Over the next five years almost every major product vertical will be rethought to be social. GET ON THE BUS!

The bottom line we found was that you make something social and that rethinks the whole space. The social version of anything can always be much more engaging and outperform non-social versions.

There are just a few amazing business minds in every generation and Mark Zuckerberg definitely is at the top for his generation. His answers are truly amazing for a 26-year-old technologist.

Mark Zuckerberg Interview at Web 2.0 Summit

Quotes

(quotes are Mark Zuckerberg unless otherwise noted)

We don’t really use it (email) that much… because it’s too slow. ..What they (HS student) meant was it’s (email) too formal. – MZ talking to a high school student about what they use to communicate

The approach you’re taking is right; we’ve got to go push the boundaries and figure out where they are, because if we set rules too early we won’t figure it out. We just won’t — we’ll stay in the past. – Tim O’Reilly

I think that in the five years most industries are going to get rethought to be social and designed around people.

A few years in, a couple of engineers at the company branched off and said we’re going to build new products. We got photos, the first version of groups, and events. At this phase, all these projects had the same thing in common; groups of 2 or 3 people competing against whole start ups that were out there… we had these teams of just 2 or 3 people building just over a couple of months very simple versions of these products… but the thing that it had was it was very deeply, socially integrated. You uploaded a photo and it went immediately so that all your friends could see it… and it turned out that that social feature was more important than every other feature put together. And very quickly our photos product became the most used photos product on the web, same thing with groups, same thing with events.

The bottom line we found was that you make something social and that rethinks the whole space. The social version of anything can always be much more engaging and outperform non-social versions.

There have been four game companies that have been built almost entirely on top of Facebook: Zynga, Playfish, Playdom, and CrowdStar.

Games have been the first big vertical to tip, that have gotten completely rethought to be social. That’s actually true on most platforms. On the iPhone and iPad, games were some of the first major things that took off. Even if you got back to the first PC, one of the things that got people to bring PCs into the home were games.

Anything that doesn’t have to be built by us, we’d rather have it not be built by us.

We are a pretty small company, we have a few hundred engineers. (crowd laughter) I think its small.

Over the next five years almost every major product vertical will be rethought to be social. GET ON THE BUS!

There are five values we have and two I’d hammer home right now are: move fast, and be bold – take risks.

Technology companies are interesting because a lot of companies get strong with scale. With Coca-Cola, the bigger it gets, the bigger its distribution network gets, the stronger it is. Technology companies have some scale advantages but also they just tend to get slower. Then they get replaced by smaller companies that are more versatile. One of the things I think about every day is how can I make this company operate as quickly as possible.

A lot of that is about encouraging people to move quickly but a lot of it is just about building out really good infrastructure that enables people to move quickly on top of solid abstractions we’ve built.

Really good people (employees/engineers) have this way of seeking out what is the most impactful position for them to be in.

The lead designer on the project joined us as an intern. We always do these management presentations where interns do these management presentations about what they did that summer. I asked him some questions and he just went off on me and had all these awesome points about why I was wrong on my criticism of his project. I was like this guy’s awesome — we’re definitely hiring him when he graduates.

I’ve made many mistakes running the company so far. Just about any mistake you can think of I’ve made – or will make in the next few years. The Facebook story is that if you are building a product that people love, you can make a lot of mistakes. The lesson from that is focus on building something that people really like and that is valuable.

A lot of enterprise software gets developed from the mindset of a feature checklist rather than what is really good to use.

What social applications have is that they are much more engaging.

The first chapter has been building out Facebook the application, the site people use every day. But long term… will be that the vast majority of the social ecosystem will not be Facebook, but we’ll help those businesses get built… That I think is a bigger long-term opportunity.

I like this map you have up here but my first instinct was that your map’s wrong. Because the biggest part of the map has got to be the uncharted territory. One of the best things about the technology industry is that it is not zero sum…..one of the best things is that we are building real value in the world, not just taking value from other companies.

My Notes

  • Mark thinks of Facebook as a platform for inspired entrepreneurs to rethink whole industries (e.g. movies, music, news) and develop new content and distribution. That’s a huge vision.
  • Facebook’s plan to dominate the internet is to build low-level social media infrastructure that enables entrepreneurs to build on top of it (like Zynga, worth a few billion as of this recording). This is the same as Microsoft’s vision during the PC era. Now Facebook will be able to generate streams of income from these apps in ways Microsoft never could. Scary. Maybe Facebook really is worth over $100 billion (as of mid-2011 when the company is still private).
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